Get to Know Federal Cafe

Get to Know Federal Cafe

When in Manchester on a weekend, whether it’s a sunny or a grey day, it’s hard to miss the line of people outside Federal Cafe, queuing for a classic Antipodean brunch and tasty coffee.

Claudio and Emily opened the first Federal site back in 2014, and with their background and experience in the hospitality industry, they were set for success. We chatted with Claudio about what makes a good brunch community, and the plans for the future with their newly opened site in Oxford Rd, Manchester.

Tell us, 8 years ago, what inspired you to start Federal Cafe?

It was kind of an impulse really. I have a background in hospitality, having managed hotels for many years. I was walking by the building in the Northern Quarter and just got a really good feeling about the space. There was another cafe here at the time and it was struggling a bit and were looking to move on, so I took my savings and secured the lease from them and Federal was born.

Why was it important for you to bring antipodean cafe culture to Manchester?

New Zealand's coffee shop scene is rightly renowned all over the world and we really wanted to bring some of the energy and vibes of antipodean culture to Manchester to brighten up our wonderful city a little.

We love that you use decent packaging products, what made you decide to use sustainable packaging?  

That’s easy really. We try to do everything responsibly and sustainably. Whether that’s where we source eggs and bread, or what packaging we choose to use. We feel we all have a responsibility towards our environment and businesses are not exempt from that. In fact, we think they should lead the way. On top of that, we’re both Kiwi brands. But seriously, I think our brands have shared values and we want to align with brands, suppliers and customers who believe what we believe.

What is your favourite Hot Cup colour?

The custom colour we get from you! Though I am secretly feeling the ‘Hello Yellow’ ones from your collection.

Now that you’ve opened another site in Manchester, what’s your vision for the next 5 years?

We’ve just opened our third site on Oxford Rd and we’re really excited about this one. It's the same great brunches and service, but with a few new touches. In terms of the next 5 years we want to keep providing the people of Manchester and beyond, excellent food and coffee in the little slices of sunshine that is Federal. We’ve always been shown plenty of love by the communities at each Federal site, and we work really hard every day to make sure we’ve earned it.

What do you think makes your local community of coffee and brunch lovers come to Federal for brunch? 

I’d like to think they come to us for brunch because they know we really care about what we do, and we really care about the experience they have. We want a trip to Federal to massively improve your day.

What’s your go-to order from the menu? 

A Superman juice and Halloumi and Shrooms.

How do you support sustainability in your coffee shop and how have customers responded to your sustainability efforts?

Whether it’s a commitment to sustainable packaging or waste disposal, or where we source food ingredients and coffee beans, we know our customers respect what we’re doing and expect us to go even further. We want to ensure that sustainability isn’t just a buzz word that we use, but an integral part of how we think and work at Federal. We still have work to do, but like you guys, we’re committed to doing our part.

Check out Federal Cafe on Instagram here.


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